Friday, August 21, 2009

Location blogging #5.5, Gorham and Portland in review.

All right, I've had a couple days to digest my little adventures...let's see what we got here...

When I started these off, I called this a "quest for hope".

Let's see if there is any so far....

Well, let's plunge into the very worst of it, and see if I can't find a silver lining....

No more Waldenbooks...

No more Bookland.....

No more Discovery store.....

Why do I take these so gloomily, and personally?'s like this...I relate to people who share my ideas and ideals as much as, possibly in some ways more, than people who share my genes.

I see smart/geeky people as "my people".

And when I see "my people", fail like this, over, and over, and over, it...I dunno, makes me suspicious and skeptical of MY ability to be successful in this flawed and shaky fucking system, y'know?

So yeah, every time I see a Walden go down, and get replaced by a clothes place for teenage bimbos, it's like the enemy claimed another bit of territory, y'know?

That's why it gets me down.

It's hard to see a future for myself when that's going on around me.'s not all losses....

I mean, I may be grouchy at them for crushing Bookland, but Borders is actually pretty decent.
So, that's some compensation.

And there's Newberry Comics to replace Moonshadow, so I can't whine there, really.

And consumer electronics are a geeky thing, and all that's booming....

So, I guess that's cool.

I may be grumpy that I'm too poor to buy all this shit, and it all ends up in the hands of spoiled yuppie teenagers, but it's still a world built for and by geeks and geekitude.

And...even on my pathetic loser budget, that I'm even blogging all this means I've got a laptop, and my little camera.

So, there's that.

And I may bemoan the deterioration of our culture in the form of shit like Twilight, but....the antidote for it, all the good movies and films, are all at Borders.

And I may gripe at FYE for not being Saturday Matinee, and Best Buy for...I dunno what, they just give me a funny vibe, it's probably me, but anyway, both of those places are no slouch in the good movie department.

So, I mean, intentional or not, they end up being repositories for the good parts of our culture.

So, it's really not all horrible.

I guess I'm grouchy that things change.

For the worse a lot of the time, but for the good too.

I mean, look at this Staples I talked about last time...

There's another place with geeky consumer electronic goodies, right?

And look what it replaced.
A rednecky fleabag dump of a place that I forever associate with blood and vomit.

Good riddance to fucking Heartland!!
Why am I hanging on to that fucking memory like it's a wistful teary-eyed treasure?

Good on Staples for buying that property.
Good on 'em!

And let's look at the very worst of it, fucking Wal-Mart.

(Click pic for full size)

When I worked there, the management was shady and crooked, my co-workers were surly unpleasant redneck pricks who undermined and sabotaged me at every opportunity, I was miserable around those twats.

It was just a shitty outfit.

Scarred me like 'Nam.
Hated it.

Buuuut, the money I earned there got me my second 'puter, and that got the dominoes tipping up to this moment, so that's something.

And they're gone now.

Oh sure, they not REALLY gone, cuz they built a SUPER Wal-Mart just across the street, but THAT Wal-Mart is gone.

That building is a husk, those people have moved on to work at hardware stores, or gas stations, or wherever the fuck they go.
And that manager probably got trucked back to the armpit of the Rebel South where he fucking belongs.
That Wal-Mart is dead.
The Wal-Mart of my nightmares is fucking dead.
It's been dead.
And what killed it?
Oddly enough, Wal-Mart's success.
Now, the Super Wal-Mart is a classier joint, and has nicer people working there.

So, weirdly, the horror of Wal-Mart killed the horror of Wal-Mart.

Capitalism works.


And let's pull back even further.

Why even obsess on retail?

Why even see "my people", in stores?

"My people", are out being scientists and engineers inventing the shit they sell at Best Buy.

Why aren't I doing that shit?

Right, cuz I was lame at school.

And who's fault was that?


Well, no getting that back, but what I can do is shore up my resolve, and channel it into what I do best.

Which is this whole writing/humor thing.
So, I gotta get back to the damned stories.

And I can stop letting the big bad world out there get under my skin, cuz it's not so big and bad after all.

And I gotta start focusing on the good, instead of the bad.

Which brings me back to Gorham.

A friend pointed out to me, it's actually a nice looking little place.

It's just haunted by the ghosts of my gloomy memories.

And does it deserve that?
Naw, that ain't fair.

So what, I lost a dumb little convenience store, they've got a whole new dumb convenience store that I don't give a chance right in the same damned parking lot.

The only thing that really irks me, is the stop-and-start driving with all the lights, and compared to deep in the guts of in-town Portland (different from Mall Portland, believe me) it's not bad at all.

So, what am I bitching about?

More nostalgia grumpiness.

Fuck that.

Say what you will about Gorham, (and boy have I) it ain't infested with mean stupid rednecks like the old Wal-Mart, or at "redneck corner".

So, what this exercise has really been about is to Ghostbust my damned memories.

They've been a funhouse mirror on reality for too long.

And again, look at all the places I DO like.

I had no beef about the Maine Mall food court, or indeed any place where epicurean delights are dispensed.
I dig Gorham House Of Pizza.
I dig Amatos, despite them being a bit pricey.
I dig Lindt.
I damned near worship at Weathervane like an altar.

And upcoming, I love all of Westbrook.
Love the shit out of it.

There's no ghosts to bust there, and yet, that place changes as much as anywhere else.

So, yeah, it's all illusions in my mind, this agoraphobia.

Gotta start tearing it apart.

Like a Heartland to put in a Staples.

Hope? Yeah, I think I found some.
It's working.
This little exercise is working.
Glad I steeled myself, and undertook it.


Sharon said...

Nice. Uplifting. Optimistic but realistic.

You've got me looking forward to find out what happens next. That's the sign of a good storyteller. :D

Diacanu said...


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